Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sew fine; Grossmann, Anita B

Sew I managed to procure myself a special little sewing machine today! As I was wondering past Chapel St Bazaar, admiring the windows and trying to convince myself that I didn't need to go in, full well knowing the damage any visit has on my hip pocket, I looked harder and noticed the label on the vintage sewing machine looking up at me mentioned the word HATS! Resolve crumbled and I had to enter the treasure trove, after all I did need an old steam kettle so a visit was totally justified and necessary, right?!

So the nice man pulled little Anita B Grossmann out of the cabinet, we gave her a whirl and she went like a dream. Someone had clearly looked after her and kept her well oiled. All parts seemingly in working order, monies changed hands and Anita B became mine!

When I returned to the land of the internet I discovered that she has an interesting history, H Grossmann manufactured sewing machines in Dresden before WWII, and during the war the Nazi's took over factories such as these to use the precision tooling for rather less good causes. The Grossmann factory was flattened by Allied bombing in 1943, which means Anita B must be at least 70 years old!

Further researches tell me that machines such as this have a special zig zag stitch used for attaching the wire to straw hat brims, or sewing straw braid, this could come in very useful! I also found these helpful instructions on line, which will come in handy when I finally put Anita B to work on my straw hats! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

This summer's model

I've been a bit AWOL recently on the old blog, not intentionally but I've actually been making hats rather than just writing about them! Yes, hat school has started in earnest; after 2 months of learning about materials, illustration and design, we've finally been let loose with the felt, steam and blocks!
I'm making a wonky black top hat, with some hot pink trimmings, which unfortunately is a little more wonky and a little less hot then ideally I'd like it to be at the moment, but certainly in the realms of fixable (by an expert at least!!). Should be finished next week fingers crossed.

Anyway, when the weather was a little warmer I caught Luscious Loleatta when she was doing a bit of sun-baking in my favourite red fedora. Doesn't she look hot?! Can never get her to keep her kit on though...